River Pollution, a Constant in the City
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
Tons of trash and weeds have been dragged by rainfall to the Laja River and the Cachinches stream. To avoid floods and in response to a citizens’ complaint, the Civil Protection Department cleaned the Laja river and announced the cleaning of the Cachinches stream.
Three months ago, according to a document submitted to Atención, Patricia Cardona, along with other activists concerned about the problem of pollution in rivers and streams, addressed a letter to Mayor Trejo advising him about the tons of trash accumulated in the Laja River near the bridge and requesting him to have it cleaned. According to the information sent to Atención; the local administration just produced some TV commercials to instill the value of not throwing trash into the rivers, valleys, and or onto roads. The document also states that addressing a letter to the Ecology Department would be a waste of time because “Ecology is not good for this sort of problem because all they do is apply the regulations in case they can identify those throwing the trash,” and they also think the Public Services Department can do more. According to the information sent to Atención, they also offered a payment to the director of Public Services to clean the area.
Felipe Cohen, director of the Civil Protection Department, made it clear that cleaning rivers and streams is performed yearly, before, during, and after the rainy season. He also commented that the cleaning of the Laja river near the bridge of La Cieneguita was done one week ago during four days when more than 100 tons of trunks, weeds, and trash were collected and taken to the sanitary landfill. This work was conducted, said Cohen, because his office had been alerted that a hard water current was coming from Dolores. The trash removal was done to allay the threat of a log jam at the bridge that could damage it and cause flooding in the area.
Recently, the Civil Protection Department announced the second stage of the cleaning of the Cachinches. The first cleaning was done in the area between the bridges of La Aurora and Avenida Independencia.
Although he did not mention the date for beginning the work, Cohen commented that this is among those works being performed during the rainy season to allow the water to flow freely and avoid flooding in the risk zone of Cuevitas. Martín Salgado Cacho, director of the Social Development Department, said that for cleaning that area, the local administration will hire the unemployed from the Cuevitas area, who will be trained to do the work and will receive tools and materials for their own protection. The area to be cleaned is between Puente de Guanajuato and the area near the bus station.